By the 1850s, New York City’s ports handled more goods and people than all other American ports combined. In 1855, Fernando Wood was elected as the first mayor.
An aerial perspective above Manhattan, showing the rapid change of the city’s shore, skyline and developing landscape.
A Busy Wharf Scene (area to which a ship may be moored to load and unload) at The South Street Seaport (the first pier in the area appeared in 1625 by the Dutch West India Company).
Bowling Green is the oldest public park (formerly, there was a turf present for playing lawn bowling) and surrounded by the oldest fence in New York City. The land on which the park sits was sacred for the Lenape Indians, where council fires were held and social meetings took place.
A photograph of Manhattan’s City Hall in 1855
Lithograph of New York City’s Chatham Square in 1858
An illustrative engraving of the original Market on 6th Avenue.
A group gathered around the then-new monument of George Washington in Union Square. The bronze statue was dedicated in 1856 and is the oldest sculpture in any New York City Park. The monument was more frequently a rendezvous point for unemployed actors in the 1850s and 1860s.
Watercolor Illustration of Broadway and Vesey Street Looking South.
An open air clothing market in New York City (the birthplace of the clothing and fashion industries in America). Tragically, New York first assumed its role as the center of the nation’s garment industry by producing clothes for slaves working on Southern plantations.
The East side of Broadway and Broome Street looking North, capturing the hum and activity of downtown Manhattan during a cold winter.
View of a residential neighborhood along New York’s Fifth Avenue. Rows of single-family brownstones with grand front stoops line the wide corridor and newly planted trees.
A view of the St. Germain Hotel on the North East Corner of 5th Avenue between 22nd and 23rd Streets (future site of The Flatiron Building).
View overlooking the Palisades, Hudson and Yonkers dockyard with railroad tracks which ran parallel to the Hudson River .
Group portrait of men, women & children gathered in front of the fountain in Washington Square Park. In 1797, the land was purchased for a public burial ground and used mainly for burying unknown or indigent people until 1826.
The Cooper Union was founded in 1859 by Peter Cooper, who was a successful entrepreneur and inventor. His dream was to give young people a good education which was “open and free to all”.
A Visual History of Mannahatta to New Amsterdam up to Present Day.
Learn about NYC’s fascinating past and explore the natural forces that shaped the environment and landscape, along with the people who would transform the “Island of Many Hills” into the greatest and most influential city in the world.
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